Two Fairmont State University seniors have been named finalists in the 2011 West Virginia Fiction Writing Competition. Michelle Yost, an English major from Shenandoah Junction, has been named one of the finalists. Her story is entitled “The Transformation of Acteon.” Shasta Gibson, also an English major from Buckhannon, is the other finalist in the competition. Her story is entitled “Waking the Bear.” These students are two of ten writers from across the state to be selected as finalists. All finalists will receive a critical review of their work from Ron Rash, the 2011 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence and will be considered for inclusion in 2012’s Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Ron Rash Volume IV.
Rash will select first, second, and third place winners. The first-place winner will receive $500, and second and third, $100 each. All three winners will have dinner with Rash on Thursday, September 29th, at the Appalachian Heritage Awards located at Shepherd University, where he will present the prizes. The winning story will also be read at Appalachian Heritage Festival concert the following night. Winners will be announced August 1.
Michelle is currently serving as managing editor of Whetstone, Fairmont State University’s undergraduate literary journal. She formerly held the title of literary editor. Shasta is in the process of revising her first novel, currently titled “White Cottage.” She intends for it to be the start of a trilogy of young adult novels.
Currently in its ninth year, the West Virginia Fiction Competition is meant to showcase the diverse writing of the region. The competition is open to residents of West Virginia or any student attending school in the state.
There is no age restriction on the competition. All submissions must be original, unpublished works of fiction between 500 and 2,500 words.